Two former fraternity members at Louisiana State University have reached a plea deal with prosecutors for their role in the alleged hazing-related death of a freshman student from Roswell, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Maxwell Gruver of Roswell, an 18-year-old LSU freshman, was pronounced dead Sept. 14, 2017, at a Baton Rouge, La., hospital in what university officials described as a “potential hazing incident” involving Phi Delta Theta fraternity. (Photo: Facebook)
Sean-Paul Gott, 21, of Lafayette, La. and Ryan Isto, 19, of the Canadian town of Oakville, Ontario, reached the plea deal Thursday in connection to the death of Maxwell Gruver, 18, Channel 2 reported.
Gruver died of alcohol poisoning during an alleged hazing ritual at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house in September 2017, AJC.com previously reported.
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At the time of his death, Gruver had an alcohol level of .495 percent, which is more than six times the legal limit for drivers.
Gott and Isto had previously pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hazing charges along with Patrick Forde, 21, of Westwood, Mass., AJC.com previously reported.
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Patrick Forde (left) and Matthew Naquin (Photo: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office via AP/AP)
They’ve agreed to testify against Matthew Naquin, 20, of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, who is charged with negligent homicide, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.
In August 2018, Gruver’s family filed a $25 million federal lawsuit against LSU, the fraternity and several fraternity members, AJC.com previously reported.
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LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard III responded to the lawsuit in an emailed statement to AJC.com.
“The loss of Maxwell Gruver was a tragedy for the Gruver family and the entire LSU community,” he said. “Since Max’s untimely death, LSU has worked to develop and implement new policies and practices to better protect all of our students. We are now implementing those changes and are working to educate each and every one of our Greek leaders, Greek students and others involved in student organizations. LSU supported the Gruver’s efforts to criminalize hazing and ensure that there were harsher penalties for hazing in Louisiana. Our Greek Life Task Force and Implementation Committee have put new measures in place for the start of the fall semester.”
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Phi Delta Theta posted a statement online that said an ongoing review has resulted in new programs and policies.
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